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1. The Last Battles
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about Germany’s decision to continue fighting until the point of total defeat at the end of the Second World War, focusing in particular on: (i) Germany’s last major offensive in the West, the Ardennes Offensive (December 1944-January 1945); (ii) the tactics deployed by the Wehrmacht [German armed forces] at the end of the war in an attempt to continue fighting; (iii) the reasons for Germany’s retreat and eventual defeat to the Allies; (iv) the motives that caused German forces to continue fighting until defeat became inevitable, and the extent to which this was underpinned by threats of violence from fellow Germans.
In this course, Professor Richard Bessel (University of York) explores the consequences of the Second World War in Germany. In the first module, we think about the final battles that took place towards the end of the Second World War. After that, in the second module, we think about the last days of the Third Reich in Germany, before turning in the third module to look at the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. In the fourth module, we consider the impact that Allied occupation had upon Germany, then in the fifth module we outline the far-reaching consequences of Germany’s loss of the eastern territories in 1945. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about the poor state that Germany was left in at the end of the Second World War, and how this manifested itself in the attitudes of subsequent generations.
Professor Richard Bessel is Professor Emeritus of Twentieth Century History at the University of York. He specialises in the social and political history of modern Germany, in particular the aftermath of the two world wars. He has published widely within this area, including Germany 1945: From War to Peace (2009) and Nazism and War .(2004).
Cite this Lecture
Bessel, R. (2022, July 21). Germany - The Consequences of War, 1945 - The Last Battles [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-the-consequences-of-war-1945/the-last-battles
Bessel, R. "Germany - The Consequences of War, 1945 – The Last Battles." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Jul 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-the-consequences-of-war-1945/the-last-battles